Stonewall Youth Soccer Association
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Clear confident whistling and signals are an important part of refereeing. It shows everyone that you are certain of your decision and that in turn leads to confidence in you as a referee from the players, coaches and fans. If they are confident in what you are doing they are less likely to question your calls and therefore there is less likely to be a problem.

If you see a foul blow your whistle with a loud sharp tone so that everyone can hear it. Delay in giving a foul can lead to people getting upset. Once you have blown your whistle to stop the game everyone will look at you to see what is happening. At this time you clearly indicate which team has been awarded the Direct free kick by pointing the direction in which they are attacking. Your arm should be straight but raised to about 45° as in the illustration to your left. The same signal applies for a throw in or corner kick. If the award is a goal kick then point downward at the goal area. When a goal is scored blow your whistle and point towards centre field.

If the free kick you have awarded is an indirect kick, for say an offside or dangerous play (i.e. a goal cannot be scored directly from it), then you must communicate this to everyone. Once you have signaled the free kick as described above, raise your arm straight in the air. You must maintain this signal from before the free kick is taken until a player different from the one taking the kick has touched the ball or it has gone out of play.

If a player is fouled (not seriously) and that team retains possession of the ball you can, if you wish to, play advantage by allowing the game to continue. By shouting “play on, advantage” and sweeping your arms forwards and upwards as in the illustration to the left everyone will know that you have seen the foul but have chosen to allow the play to continue.


If you have reason to caution a player (and show him/her a yellow card) or dismiss a player (and show him/her a red card) then make sure that everyone clearly sees the player who is being disciplined. Do not stand too close to a player or too far away from a player when doing this. A distance of about 10 feet is about right. Once you have written down the players’ number and team, raise the appropriate card in the air with a straight arm and then lower your arm.